1. Science Foundation Ireland
Science and technology play an increasingly important role in addressing the economic, social and environmental problems faced by the world today. That role needs the support and active engagement of the public who fund the work and are the ultimate beneficiaries of it. An engaged public is one that understands the role of science, can judge between competing priorities and arguments, encourages young people to take science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, and feels that it has the appropriate level of engagement with, and influence upon, the researchers. SFI, as the primary investor in scientific research in this country, must form a strong relationship with the Irish people, built on trust.
Science Foundation Ireland’s Education and Public Engagement programme seeks to promote the awareness and engagement of the Irish public with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). This supports one of the four primary objectives outlined in the SFI Strategic Plan - Agenda 2020; Objective C: To have the most engaged and scientifically informed public.
The mission of this programme is to catalyse, inspire and guide the best in STEM education and public engagement. This is done by supporting and developing the education and outreach STEM sector in Ireland by investing in developing and extending capacity in this area and also exploring and encouraging novel means of public engagement and communications.
We aim to increase interest in STEM among students, teachers and members of the public.
Visit our SFI Science Zone today in the exhibition hall where you can find interactive demos and displays of the exciting research taking place across Ireland. I encourage you to take the opportunity to gain an insight into the research landscape in Ireland, and to hear from world-leading innovators.
2. Futurewize with Junior Achievement Ireland
Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) works with industry and education partners to inspire and motivate young people to maximise their potential by valuing their education and seeing a future for themselves in the world of work.
Run in partnership with Science Foundation Ireland, Futurewize is a 5 week STEM in-classroom programme which links the strands of the junior cycle science curriculum - Earth and Space, Chemical World, Physical World and Biological World - to varied careers and ﬁelds of study in STEM. With hands-on activities, students journey through Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and uncover the future possibilities within.
JAI is part of a worldwide organisation reaching out to over 10 million young people each year. It was established in Ireland in 1996 and since then has built up a strong demand throughout the country and created successful partnerships with over 160 leading organisations. In the last school year, over 3,300 volunteers from Irish businesses delivered JA programmes to 63,200 students at primary and second level.
Visit our stand, including our JA crime scene, and explore the Futurewize programme – can you uncover who did it!?!
Calmast is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Outreach Hub for the South East of Ireland. The centre was established by Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) in 2003 and is supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Calmast works in partnership with leading STEM companies, governmental and non-governmental organisations and schools to promote and support STEM across the region through a number of festivals and a sustained STEM programme for schools, called STEMreach. STEMreach brings industry, higher education and students of primary and secondary schools together in an interactive and engaging way.
At the European Union Young Scientist Competition in Dublin, Calmast presents the very best of hands-on science demonstrations: join the Calmast team to explore the wonders of technology, the magic of chemistry, the ingenuity of engineering, the fascination of physics! Not only will you get inspired by our engaging activities but also by a selection of gripping STEM themed performances – a teaser of the shows we present throughout the year at national and international venues.
4. Maths Week Ireland
Maths Week Ireland is the biggest festival of its kind in the world: celebrating maths in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland every October, Maths Week 2017 saw more than 300,000 participants actively engaging in all things maths – puzzles, games, talks, presentations, challenges and more.
Established by Calmast, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Outreach Hub at Waterford Institute of Technology in 2006, Maths Week has grown to become a partnership of more than 50 organisations concerned with the promotion of mathematics across the island of Ireland.
Get an idea of Maths Week’s most popular activities at the Union. Be intrigued by fun maths games, get hooked by the amazing sense of accomplishment when solving a tricky puzzle! No matter if you’re finding your way out of a maths maze, race against each other in the ancient game of Towers of Hanoi or rack your brain over some taxing tangrams – be sure to fall under the spell of maths when engaging with Maths Week’s interactive activities.
Maths Week 2018 takes place all across the island from 13th to 21st October 2018.
5. Vex Robotics
This Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded robotics project managed by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), expands an exciting collaboration of industry (Dell), academia and non-profit organisations with primary and post-primary schools to promote STEM interest in children. It will introduce the VEX IQ Robotics platform to over 100 primary schools and VEX EDR to over 65 post-primary schools. The VEX IQ Robotics competition is organised on a worldwide basis by the non-profit Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. Moving into its tenth year globally, the VEX Robotics competition has been successfully running and growing in Cork since 2012.
The VEX robotics programme fosters pupil development of team working, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills while they design, build and program their own robot to compete in an exciting teamwork-based competition.
The schools involved will each receive a VEX IQ robot kit and software from CIT / SFI. Teacher training will be provided at the start of the VEX season and there will be visits to schools to support the teachers and provide an opportunity for pupils to see what the competition arena looks like. A place in a regional VEX IQ competition will be reserved for all teams.
6. SSPC The Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC)
The Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC), is a Science Foundation Ireland funded centre. Every time you take a tablet for a headache or indigestion, you are swallowing a carefully designed drug product that is the result of at least a decade of research. Every aspect of the medicine – the active ingredients, the dosage, the purity of the drug, the type of tablet coating – are all rigorously engineered and tested.
The Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC) is a global hub for the innovation and manufacture of pharmaceuticals based in Ireland. SSPC is funded by SFI and links experienced scientists and engineers in both universities and industry to solve some of the challenges around making better medicines. Visitors to the EUCYS can see for themselves how the manufacture and processing of medicinal tablets has evolved by comparing a 19th century antique tablet press with a modern day one. SSPC researchers will also be there to discuss their cutting edge research.
AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research) is a Science Foundation Ireland funded centre that provides a partnership between leading researchers in materials science and industry. Materials science has been described as the science of stuff! We are researching materials that will transform everyday products of the future, from mobile phones to knee implants, batteries to beer bottles. AMBER brings together Ireland’s leading material science researchers working across the disciplines of Physics, Chemistry, Bioengineering and Medicine; with an international network of collaborators and companies.
The clustering of material science research expertise, state of the art infrastructure and a team of professional support staff has enhanced Ireland’s international reputation in materials science research and driven increased investment from industry. Ireland’s International ranking in the areas of nanoscience and materials science has increased from 6th and 8th respectively in 2013 when the Centre was established to 1st and 3rd in 2017. This ranking is based on publications and citations.
AMBER develops training and educational programmes which impact all levels of the formal education system from primary school to fourth level. As an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional centre, AMBER influences the traditional programmes in TCD, UCC and RCSI and ensures the incorporation of interdisciplinary research programmes and training elements such as linking researchers with industry, clinicians and entrepreneurs. In addition, AMBER provides extensive training on infrastructure, such as cleanrooms and electron microscopes. This ensures graduates and postgraduates have a combination of technical aptitude and a range of generic and transferable skills.
AMBER is also committed to the development of novel outreach programmes for schools and the general public which will stimulate discussion on future medical devices, new technologies and materials and the role of science in defining how we live our lives.
Tog is Dublin’s Hackerspace. We serve all those who have an inquisitive mindset by providing a shared workshop that is open to all sorts of making and creativity. We are a member-run organization and have an extensive list of tools available. We will be showcasing a range of projects and activities including a constellation umbrella, bone conduction, boat models, wearables and interactive games.
9. Maker Dojo
MakerDojo gives the public a chance to engage actively with STEM through hands-on workshops and demonstrations, which allow participants to initiate their own Maker projects, and through discussion with researchers about their current research and its application in society. It removes some of the mystique around the technology that pervades every aspect of our lives today and so encourages people to question the role of technology.
You can do this. That’s the idea for MakerDojo. We’ll show you technology, science, mathematics and engineering projects, mini and large makes, but more importantly, why and how they work, and how you can make them yourselves.
MakerDojo is a club encouraging the general public to explore science and technology in hands-on “hacker” style workshops inspired by the growing Maker movement, a worldwide community of hobbyists, students and enthusiasts who take a creative, DIY approach to technology, science and engineering. We give practical experience of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas and the opportunity to become confident inventors, experimenters and creators.
The events are aimed for adults down to Transition Year students (think 16 and older), however younger people are encouraged to attend as part of a family group. If there are any workshops you would like to see covered in the MakerDojo series, contact William Knott in Tyndall National Institute’s MakerSpace Lab or via @TheMakerDojo on Twitter. This exhibition also includes the Deidre of the Smiles Project. She is a Raspberry Pi based Artificial Intelligence face detection system housed in a semi-transparent body.
And… you *can* do this at home too.
10. Reel Life Science
ReelLIFE SCIENCE is a science video competition for Primary and Secondary Schools, Community Groups, Youth Groups and Clubs based in Ireland. Participants of all ages are challenged to make an entertaining and engaging short science video, to be in with a chance of winning €1000 for their school or group.
Since launching in 2013, more than 9,000 science-loving students, teachers and community group members, in 300 schools and groups around Ireland, have taken part in ReelLIFE SCIENCE. In that time, more than €15,000 has been given directly to schools and community groups for their STEM programmes and activities, while the videos produced continue to have a huge audience via TV, public screenings and online views in over 130 countries.
The project, based in NUI Galway and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, aims to increase the public’s engagement with science and technology in a creative way, by encouraging participants to research and communicate a scientific topic via a fun three minute video. Videos can be live-action or animated, in English or Irish, and can be made using cameras, tablets or smartphones.
Selecting this year’s winning videos is a very special panel of Guest Judges, including comedian and TV presenter Dara Ó Briain, aeronautical engineer and astronaut-candidate Norah Patten and BT Young Scientist winner, Simon Meehan.
Closing date for entries is October 19th.
Visit www.reellifescience.com for more information.